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Cable Business Services

Tele Columbus navigates through COVID-19

German cable operator Tele Columbus said the coronavirus pandemic did not have any impact whatsoever on Q1 results, and that they "came in line with internal expectations."

"Project pipelines" in the B2B sector, as well as in the potentially lucrative housing association segment, apparently remain intact.

In what Daniel Ritz, Tele Columbus' CEO, called a "solid start into the year," Q1 revenues were nonetheless flat, year-on-year, at €115 million (US$126 million).

It would have been worse were it not for B2B revenues increasing by 17.4%, year-on-year, to €13.6 million ($14.9 million). The uptick here was driven by a strong demand for B2B carrier solutions, classical ISP, as well as data center services. Internet & Telephony revenues also increased to €35.9 million ($39.3 million), up 2.8% year-on-year.

Combine all these upsides, said Tele Columbus, and it "overcompensated" for a decline in TV revenues by 4.6%, year-on-year, to €54.4 million ($59.6 million). The flickering TV picture was a result of losses in RGUs, or "revenue-generating units," in what Tele Columbus called a "structurally challenging market."

Reported EBITDA increased by 16.9%, year-on-year, to €55.5 million ($60.8 million), helped by lower non-recurring costs.

Q1 capex was down 11.8% year-on-year, to €30.2 million ($33.1 million), after some heavy capital outlays in boosting network capacity during the same period the year before.

As of March 31, the Group reported approximately 3.4 million homes connected, and served 2,258,000 unique subscribers (down from 2,309,000 twelve months previously).

Confirmed full-year revenue guidance is between €465 ($510 million) and €475 million ($520 million), and reported EBITDA is in the €225-230 million range ($247-252 million). Capex is slated at between €140 million ($153 million) and €150 million ($164 million).

Ritz said guidance will be "closely monitored" and that an update will be given with the half-year report in August.

The CEO also teased a "comprehensive strategic update" at that time.

— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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